Gluten-free | Dairy-free | Sugar-freeMakes: 1 large loaf
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Proving time: 45-60 minutes
Cook time: 35-45 minutes
It's been so long since I've been able to fully enjoy a loaf of bread with a crusty exterior with a tender, soft interior that I forgot how good it could be to slice through a freshly baked loaf.
I had resigned myself to this notion UNTIL I put my baker's hat on and decided to get into the kitchen and get testing. If it was possible for wheat flour to turn crunchy, it was also possible for non-wheat flours to move into the realm of crusty loaf immortality.
I would love to introduce you to my Gluten-Free Crusty Dutch Oven Boule. It is a wonder of gluten-free flour, yeast and cast iron and has had my family fighting over the slices as they come hot from the loaf. This gluten-free loaf is a bread lover's dream come true.
Hints, Tips & Tricks
To get the crusty exterior on your loaf, you will need to cook the bread in a large cast-iron pot with a lid. This method is a necessity to achieve that wonderful crunch!
I use my Sweet As Fibre Syrup as a refined sugar substitute in this recipe due to its natural sweetness. My fibre syrup is a low-calorie prebiotic fibre that's made from 100% pure chicory. Feel free to use your own fibre syrup, but make sure to read the labels. Many companies lace their syrups with ingredients such as malt extract and stevia to make them sweeter. If your fibre syrup isn't golden, it probably isn't 100% pure. If you would like to purchase my Sweet As Fibre Syrup, click here.
As this recipe is gluten-free, I have also used xanthan gum to provide elasticity and fluffiness that the gluten would otherwise provide.
- 325 ml (10.9 fl oz) lukewarm water
- 2 tbsp instant active yeast
- 1 tbsp Sweet as Fibre Syrup
- 300 g (10.5 oz) gluten-free plain flour + extra 100 g + (3.5 oz) for dusting
- 1 tbsp xanthan gum
- 2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp avocado, olive or coconut oil
1) Into a large jug, add lukewarm water and sprinkle over the yeast. Add the fibre syrup, stir briefly and allow the yeast mixture to sit for 10 minutes to activate. The yeasty water will form a bubbly head like a freshly poured beer, indicating it is activated and ready for the next step.
2) Into a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the flour, xanthan gum and salt. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture followed by the eggs, vinegar and oil.
3) Mix the dough for 3-4 minutes with either the dough hook on medium speed or with a wooden spoon, stirring vigorously.
4) The dough will be sticky, so begin to incorporate a small handful of flour at a time, mixing between additions until a smooth ball of dough forms in the bowl.
5) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead and mould it gently into a large ball. If the dough is still sticky, keep adding more flour until it no longer sticks to your hands.
6) Place the dough round onto a large piece of non-stick baking paper and cover with a large bowl. Allow the dough to sit in a warm spot in your kitchen for 45-60 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
7) While the dough ball proves, place your cast iron dutch oven with the lid on into the oven and turn the oven on to 250C (480F). The pot needs to be in the oven for at least 30 minutes before you begin baking.
8) When the dough is ready to bake, CAREFULLY take the dutch oven out of the oven, pick up the baking paper with the dough ball, place the paper and ball into the pot. Slash the top of the dough a couple of times with a sharp knife and sprinkle the top with a bit of extra flour.
9) Place the lid back on the pot and pop it back into the oven. Position it as close to the middle of the oven as possible. Bake the bread for 35-45 minutes until golden on the outside and seriously crusty.
10) You can check to see if your bread is ready by CAREFULLY removing the paper and bread from the pot and then tapping the base of the bread. If it sounds hollow, it's baked through.
11) Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack or eat hot, straight from the pot.